Your Family is Unique

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You and your family are as unique as your thumbprint.  The way you parent and raise your children is unique to you.  In this day and age of social media it is tempting to get caught up in the comparison game, especially when you are a mom.  

 It is easy to judge yourself based on what others are doing or not doing.  It is easy to want to follow the latest fad.  It is easy to want to fit in.

I believe this begins in early childhood.  We are taught that conformity is the acceptable way.  Do it the way everyone else does it and you’ll be ok.  If you deviate from the norm there must be something wrong with you. 

Sadly, many of us have no clue who we really are.  We have adopted the core values and passion of others through childhood, society and life experiences. 

Or, we are playing the toxic game of Mom Comparison.  It is the biggest mistake we can make as moms.  Not only does it often lead us down the wrong path but we are teaching our children how to live a life of comparison as well.

No wonder there is so much pain in the world.  No wonder I felt so much pain throughout my childhood and into adulthood.  I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.  I knew I wasn’t like most other people.  I knew that I was trying to force myself into conformity.  But, I didn’t know what to do about it other than live very uncomfortably for most of my life. 

During my “renewal”, I learned to use the way I am feeling as a compass.  I learned that the way I am feeling is a key indicator of whether I am being true to who I really am.  I learned to lean in and really pay attention to what is right for me and my family. 

There is absolutely no comparison between your unique self and the unique self of another. Brene Brown says this brilliantly in this quote. “If it doesn’t fit it isn’t you.”

BE you!

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help letting go of mom comparison? I’ve created a FREE series of Life by Design Daily Affirmations to support you in being true to you one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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Life by Design Daily Affirmations


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A Whisper and a Hummingbird Feeder

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I think it was Gandhi who said that the voice for truth speaks to every person on the planet every single day.  It is as loud as your willingness to listen.  He’s talking about the still, small voice of truth inside each one of us.  An inner voice, a gut instinct, a whisper.  It is your very own intuition. You may call it your mom gut. 

It’s your life speaking to you.  It is your inner wisdom and it is connected to all that is.  It is the inner voice that nudged you to read this blog post.  I believe that it is no accident that we are here together.  You listened.  I listened.  And, here we are. 

Think back on a time when you were thinking about a song and you hear it on Pandora.  You think about a friend and you run into them in the grocery store. 

My mom used to do this all the time.  I would pick up the phone and she would be calling me or vice versa. 

A while back I bought a friend a hummingbird feeder with hooks and all for her birthday.  I listened to an inner nudge, a whisper, and I knew I had found the perfect gift. She laughed when I gave it to her because that morning she had written buy and install hummingbird feeder on her to do list.  She showed it to me and checked it off her list.

It’s not a coincidence.  It’s a connection.  It’s intuition.  It’s being on the same wave length.  The same vibration.  We were thinking of each other at the same time.  Listening to our still, small voices and acting upon what we were hearing. 

Pay attention. Listen to the whispers. Follow your yellow brick road.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help listening to the whispers? I’ve created a FREE series of Life by Design Daily Affirmations to support you in feeling better one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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Life by Design Daily Affirmations

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Opening the Door to Possibility

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What if you had a magic wand and all of your dreams came true…today?  Would you be ready?  

The ideal relationship

The ideal job opportunity

The ideal home

What if they were already here?  Just waiting for you. Would you be ready to open the door and let them in?

Many of us, when we even dare to dream, forget this very important piece.  In order to get what we want in life, we have to make the space for it.  We have to make it welcome in our lives.

A friend’s sister won the lottery many years ago.  Overnight, she became a millionaire.  Within a few short years she lost it all and ended up in a worse financial situation than she was before she won.  She wasn’t ready. 

Dreaming the ideal home doesn’t get you the keys.  It requires action.

What would you love?

What steps need to be taken?

What beliefs will you need to adopt to BEcome the woman living in the ideal home?

Get ready.  Open the door to possibility. 

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help creating new beliefs that align with your dreams? I’ve created a FREE series of Life by Design Daily Affirmations to support you in creating a new belief system one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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Life by Design Daily Affirmations

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How Are You Feeling?

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I spent most of my life wanting to feel good. Because…I didn’t. I felt awful.

About my circumstances.

About my life.

About myself.

I had little to no self awareness. I didn’t know that I had the power within me to change the way I was feeling.

And then I had kids. Wow! Having kids was like holding a magnifying glass over all that was “wrong” with my life. It was painful but it was the kick in the butt I needed to make some significant changes.

My kids were depending on me to dig in deep and BEcome the mom they deserved.

In the process I learned how to notice what I was noticing.

THE key to feeling good.

I learned how to check in and ask myself: How am I feeling? Am I feeling contraction or am I feeling expansion. 

A contractive feeling is the way fear, anger, frustration or the like feels.  For me, a contractive feeling almost feels like I want to protect myself.  Shoulders come in, I may cross my arms in a protective way.

An expansive feeling is the way joy, abundance or gratitude feels. For me, my heart feels open.  I feel expansion in my heart space.

If I am feeling expansive then I bask in the goodness.

If I am feeling contractive I ask myself this question: What thought am I having that is giving me this feeling? 

Maybe I am feeling the contraction of overwhelm and the thought I am having is “I have so much to do and so little time.” 

This is a great opportunity to change the thought.  To shift the thought from contraction to expansion.  The easiest way to shift from contraction to expansion is gratitude. 

Gratitude is the back door to abundance. 

Simply replace the contractive thought with something you are grateful for.  And, feel into it.  Feel the gratitude throughout your entire body.

You may even stand up taller and roll your shoulders up, back and down again.  Maybe even get into a power pose like Wonder Woman with your hands on your hips.  Take a deep, grateful breath.  Ahhh! 

How are you feeling?

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help feeling better? I’ve created a FREE series of Life by Design Daily Affirmations to support you in feeling better one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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Life by Design Daily Affirmations


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Teach Your Kids How to Live a Great Life

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We live in a spiral Universe and in this Universe there is an ever upward spiral of becoming.  It is called life.  Life itself is seeking a fuller, freer, more expansive expression through all living beings.  Just look outside in the spring time.  The grass, the trees, the flowers, the birds.  Life is continually seeking more life.  A blade of grass will press through cement seeking the light. That same energy is in you.

You will hear this through your longings and discontent.  The still, small voice deep inside of you sends you messages of the need for growth.  Not to worry.  Growth is a natural part of life.  It absolutely does not mean that you are a negative person because you want more.  Life wants more life.  It wants more through you. 

You don’t have to have a lot of pain in your life to want things to be better.  In fact, good is the enemy of great.  Life wants you to have a great life.  And, the great news is, you can show your kids how to have a great life too!

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help living a great life? I’ve created a FREE series of Life by Design Daily Affirmations to support you in believing in yourself one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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Life by Design Daily Affirmations


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The Gift of BEing an Empowered Mom

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You are worthy of every good thing life has to offer and it is essential that you believe it in order to BEcome the woman you are envisioning. 

You have been chosen to be in this body at this moment in history and you don't have to be or do or acquire anything to be more deserving than you are right now.  You are as unique as your thumbprint and there has never been and never will be anyone exactly like you. 

The world is waiting for you to shine your light with your unique combination of values, passions, gifts, skills, talents, characteristics and experience.

You may be asking yourself.  Well, why should I take the time to generate self-worth?  It sounds like a whole lot of work. 

Here is why. 

The greatest gift you can give your children and the world is to be an example of a powerful woman.  Not power over something or someone but personal power.  Recognizing and embracing the power within you. 

To create a new legacy of modeling self-love and self-acceptance for your children and everyone you encounter. 

Loving others (our children especially) more than ourselves is toxic and we don’t want to pass that along.  The world needs more examples of people who love themselves.  You are here to be that example. 

Remember this: 

You have a history but you are not your history. 

You have a story but you are not your story. 

You have a body but you are not your body. 

You are much much more.

And, if you need to borrow my belief in you for now, please feel free.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help believing in yourself? I’ve created a FREE series of Life by Design Daily Affirmations to support you in believing in yourself one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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Life by Design Daily Affirmations


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Patterns in Motherhood

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Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? The main character, played by Bill Murray, relives the same day over and over and over again. Each day is exactly like the day before. Many of us do the same thing in our own lives. 

We often unknowingly create patterns in our lives and in our families.  Patterns of thinking, patterns of behavior and patterns of how we relate to each other and our surroundings.  The mind loves patterns because patterns are easy.  True thinking is work for the mind so it tends to refer to the default setting of the patterns that are already in place.

We’ve practiced them.  We’ve perfected them.  They have become comfortable in an uncomfortable way if that makes sense.  I have a friend who told me flat out that even though her life was painful, she liked the comfort of the darkness because it was familiar.  She knew what to expect.  She is not alone.  Many, if not most of us choose to stay with what we know. 

The Groundhog Day Effect, as I like to call it, can also be seen on a broader scale.  Whether we mean to or not, we often create the same life over and over again even though we are trying to make change.  We may give our circumstances a “facelift”, a new house, a new job, a new relationship, but in essence, we stick with the pattern that has been ingrained in us and create the same life in a different place.  Wherever you go, there you are.

I had a woman come to a vision board workshop once who said that she looked through her journals over the past 10 years and realized that she had been living the exact same life for 10 years.  It was a sobering realization for her.

The good news is that we have complete control over our thoughts.  In fact, it is the only thing we do have complete control over.  It takes constant practice.  Like working a muscle.  But it is as simple as replacing old, dis-empowering thoughts with new, empowering ones.  Simple but not easy, that is.

It helps to have a list of replacement thoughts.  A list of thoughts we can turn to when the old, dis-empowering ones creep in, as they are prone to do.

Try this:

  • WRITE:  Fold a piece of paper in half the long way.  On the left side make a list of 10 dis-empowering thoughts that you consistently have and on the right make a list of positive, empowering, replacement thoughts

  • PAUSE: When you notice a negative thought, pause, take a breath and re-frame it.  Insert one of the new, empowering thoughts instead.

  • PRACTICE, practice, practice

It’s all about noticing what you’re noticing.  Noticing that you are having a negative thought is progress, my friends!  It’s the first step in changing a habit.  So celebrate it and keep noticing.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help changing old, dis-empowering thoughts? I’ve created a FREE Daily Affirmation E-course to support you in changing your thoughts one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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Motherhood and the Lost Art of Having Fun

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Have you ever felt like you have forgotten how to have fun? That you used to laugh, play and feel free?  Sometimes we get so caught up in our world as parents that we forget that we used to thrive in nonsense.  At least I did…  In fact, the thing that most attracted me to my husband was his uncanny ability to have fun in just about any situation.

So, instead of taking the spectator stance, as I so often see parents taking, my husband and I do our very best to allow our children to witness us having child-like fun as often as possible. 

And, yes, that often includes dancing, roller skating and bouncing with the kids at Defy Gravity.

We never miss an opportunity to bounce!  For $14 an hour we jump, laugh AND our kids get to see us as people rather than in our usual roles as parents.

Now, I am a bit more conservative on the trampoline than my husband is.  He enjoys flips into the cheese pit and swinging from the big swing but I have my own level of fun.

Yes, I play it safe despite my kids’ best efforts to get me to bounce off the wall.

Yes, I am breathless by the time I bounce off the mat.

Yes, there are many times when I am the only mom jumping.

And, Yes, sometimes I even pee a little.

But, I have a great time and most importantly, my kids see me having high energy fun. They experience me not as Mommy but as Tracy.  I must say, I am quite the pro jumper now and am seriously considering a gig with Cirque de Soleil…

Your kids are learning how to navigate life by watching you with their little eyes, ears and hearts.  I invite you to incorporate some high energy fun into your life this week and share your experience with a comment below.

“Look at me! Look at me! Look at me NOW! It is fun to have fun. But you have to know how.” - Dr. Seuss

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help incorporating fun into your life? I’ve created a FREE Daily Affirmation E-course to support you in allowing yourself all the goodness life has to offer. Click the button below to get started.

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FREE Daily Affirmation E-Course

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Freedom to Choose

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Our forefathers had a vision. 

They decided on the vision. 

They believed in the vision. 

They took action on the vision.

They built a support structure to protect the vision.

And, this week, we will be celebrating the 243rd birthday of the declaration of that vision.  The Declaration of Independence.  A declaration of freedom.

As we celebrate with fireworks, parades and festive gatherings, I’d like to invite you to celebrate yourself as well.

your life

your vision

your freedom

I invite you to draw up your own declaration.  Your own vision.


Try this:

Listen to your longings and discontent

Decide what you would love to be or do or have

Take action 


You have the freedom to free yourself.  To free yourself from the chains that hold you back from being all you are here to be.    

The time is now!  Declare it!

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help drawing up your own vision?  Start here.  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


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What makes YOU come alive?

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What kind of life would YOU love living?  YOU.  Not your family.  Not your friends.  Not society.  YOU!

  • What would YOU love?

  • What brings YOU life?

  • What do YOU want to be or do or create in this life?

Think about it…really…let your imagination run wild...

Most of us, when we think about what we really want, start with what we think we could do, what we should do, what our present circumstances allow, what the economy is doing, what our bank account says…

It’s time to start asking different questions, bigger questions.

Howard Thurman said Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it it.  Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.

Your life is an example to everyone you encounter.

  • Of possibility

  • Of hope

  • Of life

Imagine how your children would benefit from a mother who is truly alive…

  • What would YOU love?

  • What brings YOU life?

  • What do YOU want to do or be or create or experience in this life?

What would a wealthy life look like to YOU?  Wealth is not just about money.  Merriam-Webster defines wealth as abundant supply.  We can have wealth in any area of life. 

  • Wealthy in health

  • Wealthy in time

  • Wealthy in love

Designing a wealthy life begins with knowing what you really want

What is it for YOU?


Try this:

  • Take a few deep breaths and center yourself

  • Ask yourself this question:  If it all worked out, what would I love to be or do or have or experience in this life?

  • Grab a pen and paper and let your imagination run wild.

  • And what else and what else and what else...


Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help imagining what you would love?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the START HERE button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


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Raising Grateful Kids

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One night my 9 year old daughter was having a difficult time.  It had been a full week and we recently had to have a few difficult conversations with our children about death. 

My daughter, who has a vivid imagination, did NOT want to sleep in her bed.  She was not having any part of it.  By 10PM I realized that she was serious! 

So, I got her settled into my bed and took out my gratitude journal for me and my bedside notebook for her.  Her eyes lit up at the sight of the notebook as she is an artist in the making and draws any chance she can get.  I told her that instead of our nightly “grateful prayer”, as we call it, we were going to write in our gratitude journals to help us change our thoughts.

I was delighted with the experience for both of us and for the learning that took place that night.  She now has her own gratitude journal.  A simple solution with a powerful outcome. 

Gratitude is a powerful spiritual practice and an easy one to pass on to kids. Here are 3 reasons you and your child may want to start a gratitude practice.

  • Gratitude connects us to the source of abundance and creativity. Since our thoughts are prayers, gratitude is a great way to align with the source of all that is. That place of pure love.

  • Gratitude aligns us with the vibration (or vibe) of abundance. Seriously, gratitude has an energy about it. It vibrates at the same energetic frequency as joy and abundance leaving us feeling expansive while sadness, anger and frustration tend to leave us feeling constriction.

  • Gratitude increases our sense or feeling of deserving. It feels good to know that we have something to be grateful for.

Do you have a gratitude practice?  Do your kids? Please share it in the comments below.  Yours may just be the golden nugget that changes another mom’s life.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help thinking grateful thoughts? I’ve created a complimentary series of affirmations to remind you of who you are, all you are capable of and how much you rock.


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Life by Design Daily Affirmations


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Spring Forward

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Imagine that your life is a book.  There are often defining moments in life that we might call chapters within our own story.  They are all integral parts of who we are regardless of how unpleasant they may have felt at the time.

Sometimes, no matter how much we want to spring forward into the next chapter, we end up falling back into the one before.

Now, imagine that you are the author of the book of you.  You can’t erase those chapters but you can absolutely edit them.  You can rewrite them and give them new meaning.  And, you can redirect the story going forward.

I have rewritten many chapters in my own life.  If it wasn’t for one of the most rigorous chapters, I wouldn’t have found my love for yoga, teaching and my own spirituality.  I wouldn’t be sharing this with you today.

I am incredibly grateful for those chapters that once felt rigorous.

·         I learned the power of forgiveness. 

·         I learned the power of resilience. 

·         I learned the power of perseverance. 

I have learned how to rewrite the chapters in my life so that I may spring forward into the next. And so can you!

What will be on the pages of your next chapter?

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help springing forward into your next chapter? I’ve created an easy work sheet to help you rewrite the rigorous chapters in your life.  Download it for free using the button below. 


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Rewrite the Chapter Worksheet


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